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Government Earns N500m From Renewal of 668 Telecoms Licences

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  • Government Earns N500m From Renewal of 668 Telecoms Licences

The Federal Government through the Ministry of Communications has earned about N500 million from the issuance and renewal of spectrum licenses between November 2015 and September 2016.

This, according to the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, is part of the efforts of the Ministry channeled towards spectrum management in Nigeria.

Shittu, who disclosed this at the National Council on Communications Technology conference, held in Kaduna, at the weekend, noted that government intended to secure state of the art mobile equipment that will be deployed to enforce compliance and also enable the detection, location and blocking of illegal users of spectrum.

The minister pointed out that effective radio spectrum monitoring would assist with intelligence gathering and support the agencies in enhancing security and safety of citizens and the nation in general.

Adebayo disclosed that in its effort to broaden Broadband penetration in Nigeria, government has licensed six slots of the 2.6MHz spectrum for the deployment of 4G-LTE Services. He stressed that in the same vein, processes have commenced for the licensing of Broadband services on the 5.4 GHz Spectrum Band and the allocation of 70/80 GHz band (E-Band).

The minister disclosed that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the sector has increased from $32 billion in 2015 to $38 billion in 2016, adding that broadband penetration has reached 20.95 per cent, while the percentage of Internet penetration has reached a milestone 47.44 per cent, making Nigeria, second only to South Africa in the whole of the African Continent.

“There is a positive increase in the number of active telecoms subscribers with an increase from 148.70 million in august 2015 to 152.28 million as at August 2016, which is an increase of 5.9 per cent. In the same vein, tele-density rose from 107.67 per cent in August 2015 to 109.14 per cent in August 2016, thus recording an increase of 1.47 per cent,” he stated.

Furthermore, Adebayo, said government will expand investments in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure to extend connectivity to the unserved and underserved areas.

In this regard, he said attention will be paid to the issue of multiple taxation of ICT infrastructure. “Also, we are working to have ICT infrastructure designated as Critical National Infrastructure. Efforts are being made to procure two additional communication satellites to complement the existing NigComSat as a means of reaching areas that cannot easily be covered by terrestrial fiber.

“We are also working to make more investments in building the capacity and harnessing the talents of our youth. In particular we are increasing Accelerators and Incubator programmes as a means of building and harnessing the capacity of our increasingly ICT savvy youth population. Our game plan is to deploy our indigenous ICT for national development. We will work to ensure that tech start-ups are not burdened with high take-off costs and killer interest rates that they currently suffer from. We believe that ICT companies should benefit from government incentives where first entrants can get pioneer status which would lead to an unprecedented boom in the sector,” he stated.

Shittu, who said that ICT has become a fulcrum of the nation’s economy traversing all aspects, including the public service, banking and finance, health and social services, education, security and agriculture, noted that the ubiquity and pervasiveness of ICT is manifest, “the challenge is how to harness and leverage the opportunities thrown up by the new economy powered by ICT to address the issues of revenue, investments and cost savings.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Crude Oil

South Africa’s iGas, PetroSA and Strategic Fuel Fund Merge to Create South African National Petroleum Company

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The South African Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has announced the merger of Central Energy Fund (CEF) subsidiaries iGas, PetroSA and the Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF).

The merger will be effective from 1 April 2021 and the new company will be called the South African National Petroleum Company.

The merger, driven by the pursuit of implementing a new company that has a streamlined operating model via the development of a shared services system and a common information platform, comes a few months after cabinet approval and the confirmation that PetroSA had incurred losses of R20 billion since 2014.

Additional factors which prompted the move included the determination to strengthen PetroSA which had not had a permanent CEO in five years prior to the appointment of CEO Ishmael Poolo last and, had become majorly ungainful since its failure to secure gas for the gas-to-liquids refinery project in Mossel Bay.

While the merger deadline has been set, the portfolio committee expressed reservations to the department’s likelihood of meeting the deadline, considering the existing legislative regime, pending issues raised in the SFF and PetroSA forensic reports, as well as PetroSA’s current insolvency and liquidity challenges, the official press statement on the briefing revealed.

“South Africa’s energy sector is entering a new dawn,” said NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber. “With gas discoveries off the coast and the announcement of the REIPPP programme bid window 5 and 6 on the horizon, now is the most opportune time for the merger of the CEF subsidiaries. Of course, it is not an easy task and delays may be anticipated but, this move signals a real change towards a meaningful strategy that will not only be beneficial to the DMRE but to potential investors and local development as well.”

The African Energy Chamber welcomes this move and acknowledges that this is yet another step supporting the country’s determination to restarting the engines of sustainable growth and the transformation of energy policy and infrastructure.

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Crude Oil

Crude Oil Hits $71.34 After Saudi Largest Oil Facilities Were Attacked

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Brent Crude Oil Rises to $71.34 Following Missile Attack on Saudi Largest Oil Facilities

Brent crude, against which Nigerian oil is priced, jumped to $71.34 a barrel on Monday during the Asian trading session following a report that Saudi Arabia’s largest oil facilities were attacked by missiles and drones fired on Sunday by Houthi military in Yemen.

On Monday, the Saudi energy ministry said one of the world’s largest offshore oil loading facilities at Ras Tanura was attacked and a ballistic missile targeted Saudi Aramco facilities.

One of the petroleum tank areas at the Ras Tanura Port in the Eastern Region, one of the largest oil ports in the world, was attacked this morning by a drone, coming from the sea,” the ministry said in a statement released by the official Saudi Press Agency.

It also stated that shrapnel from a ballistic missile dropped near Aramco’s residential compound in Eastern Dhahran.

Such acts of sabotage do not only target the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but also the security and stability of energy supplies to the world, and therefore, the global economy,” a ministry spokesman said in a statement on state media.

Oil price surged because the market interpreted the occurrence as supply sabotage given Saudi is the largest OPEC producer. A decline in supply is positive for the oil industry.

However, Brent crude oil pulled back to $69.49 per barrel at 12:34 pm Nigerian time because of the $1.9 trillion stimulus packed passed in the U.S.

Market experts are projecting that the stimulus will boost the United States economy and support U.S crude oil producers in the near-term, this they expect to boost crude oil production from share and disrupt OPEC strategy.

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Crude Oil

A Loud Blast Heard in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia’s Largest Crude Oil Production Site

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Loud Blast Heard in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia’s Largest Crude Oil Production Site

Two residents from the eastern city of Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday said they heard a loud blast, but they are yet to know the cause, according to a Reuters report.

Saudi’s Eastern province is home to the kingdom’s largest crude oil production and export facilities of Saudi Aramco.

A blast in any of the facilities in that region could hurt global oil supplies and bolster oil prices above $70 per barrel in the first half of the year.

One of the residents said the explosion took place around 8:30 pm Saudi time while the other resident claimed the time was around 8:00 pm.

However, Saudi authorities are yet to confirm or respond to the story.

 

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